I was raised a Christian – somewhat. We didn’t go to church regularly except for New year’s eve. Even then we went to the neighborhood church with the neighborhood children.
Every once in a while, my dad packed us up and we headed to the Anglican Church. This happened about two to three times a year. My mom was a little weirder. She always attended churches and places where they could tell the future. She was always going to one spiritual leader or another. I’m not sure exactly what she was looking for, but she still hasn’t found it. My sister seems to have inherited this trait from her.
I’d never really believed the whole Jesus having to die for my sins (thing). I mean, there to me, seems to be a disconnect between the “God” .who created the physical universe and all it’s physical laws and chemical reaction – so rational so thoughtful, and the God of bible, egotistical, vindictive, unfair. For some odd reason, I never prayed to Jesus as a child. Just directly to God, even when I was too young to know the difference.
Now my parents have gotten a lot more religious. My dad even has a pastor and attends church regularly. My mom still runs around looking for spiritual answers with my sister in tow. I on the other hand have gone off in the opposite direction. I never liked women having to submit to men. That was always an issue with me but I never really questioned it. Then it was reading about the sweet smelling sacrifice of animals… Really? Does God really need to smell their flesh burning? I think of all the unfair and unjust things in the bible. The guy giving up his daughter to the men don’t get homosexually raped. Women- second class citizens of the world. I started to think, what really irks me about Christians is their penchant to use the bible to justify the bible. It’s the infallible word of God. Yet very few Nigerians take time to research the history of the bible. The virgin birth was not novel to Christianity. Praying is hit or miss. If you pray and it happens, it was because you had faith. If you had faith and it didn’t happen, it’s because it was not the will of God. Nigerians have been so brainwashed that we always wait for God instead of taking action. Shall I take my neighbor to court, who has robbed me? No, I’ll wait until something bad happens to him. (Which by the way is inevitable) then I shall say, it is God paying him back because he wronged me.
By the way, this phenomenon is not exclusive to Christianity in Nigeria. Those who practice Yoruba religion are very good for it. Somebody who beat me up last week, died today. Suddenly, everyone believes I’ve had some magic arts performed on it. No need to think about all the carbon dioxide all the old cars in Lagos are emitting. No need to think of any underlying condition he may have already had. No. it was juju for sure.
Tai Solarin once said religion was killing Nigeria. He was right.
Religion, I believe, was created to control the ignorant. If you are looking to me to tell you there is no God, don’t. I have no clue. He’s never talked to me. He’s been extremely silent. Yet there are times I have prayed and gotten what I asked for. There are times when I haven’t prayed and gotten what I wanted still. So how does it work?
Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar, millionaires in there own rights, travel to places like Nigeria. Droves of people show up, they talk, they pray and they tithe and give offerings. Then these preachers take the money and return to the West. Millions of people left behind, still suffering, still crying out for God. Yet he is silent, still.